Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed an executive order that requires people to wear face masks whenever in an indoor public space and in crowded outdoor spaces. The order strengthens her previous order on masks.
According to the governor's office, the order also requires any business that is open to the public to refuse entry or service to people who refuse to wear a face mask, with limited exceptions.
Michigan is the latest state to announce requirements like this.
The order comes as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Michigan, and one day after she said she was considering strengthening the face mask requirement.
“The heroes on the front lines of this crisis have gone hours without taking their masks off every day – doctors, nurses, child care workers, grocery store workers. We owe it to them to wear our masks when we’re on a trip to the grocery store or pharmacy," Whitmer said in a release. “Masks can reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19 by about 70 percent. By wearing masks, we can save lives and protect our family, friends, and neighbors from the spread of COVID-19. And by wearing masks now, we can put our state in a stronger position so our kids can return to school safely in the fall. For the sake of your loved ones, let’s all mask up, Michigan.”
Daily case counts in Michigan exceed 20 cases per million in the Grand Rapids, Detroit and Lansing regions.
“Michigan's fight against COVID-19 is nowhere near over, which is why it’s so important that we all do our part and wear masks when we’re out in public,” said Chief Medical Executive and DHHS Chief Deputy for Health Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “Wearing a mask or face covering can significantly decrease the chance of spreading COVID-19 and save lives. It’s important that all Michiganders wear masks properly - not down around the neck, not only over the mouth, but correctly over the mouth and nose. Please everyone stay patient, and remain vigilant.”
The order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday, July 13 for businesses. Under the order, businesses must also post signs instructing customers of the legal obligation to wear a face mask.
Those who are exempt include people who are younger than 5 years old, those who can't medically tolerate a face covering and those who are eating or drinking while seated at a restaurant.
The order goes into effect immediately for individuals. A willful violation is subject to a misdemeanor with a $500 penalty.
There is no penalty for people who remove a mask in religious worship at a house of religious worship.
Read the order below.
Whitmer signs order requiring people to wear masks in all indoor spaces, crowded outdoor spaces by WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit on Scribd
Additional Coronavirus information and resources:
Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.
View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.
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